removing the elephant

In case you haven’t followed the news about my nephew Diego on my sister’s blog, I’m very happy to report that the surgery went well. The surgeons were able to remove the tumor, which, by the way, was the size of a football. In the belly of a 3-year-old. And a not particularly large 3-year-old at that.

Thank you for all of your positive thoughts and prayers. The support really meant a lot to me and to my sister. While the scariest part is hopefully behind us now, the recovery process and treatment will continue to be hard. So, your ongoing support will also be gratefully accepted.

I feel that an enormous weight has been lifted now. It’s like that elephant that was standing on the anvil squishing my brain has stepped off. The weight of the anvil feels much more manageable now. I’m not sure the elephant’s entirely left the room, but his presence is less heavy now.

I know it seems rather self-absorbed to reflect on how this has affected me, compared to what my sister and brother-in-law and mother (who is also out in California) have gone through. But what’s a personal blog for if not self-absorption?

The last few weeks have been exhausting, even for me. I’ve been startled by how physically the worry has affected me. I have come to understand intimately the expression “worry oneself sick.” I had low levels of nausea virtually non-stop from the day Diego was first admitted to the hospital. My appetite was suppressed, yet I found myself eating anyhow. I have eaten far more chocolate the last few weeks than is quite good for me. I know this just contributed to feeling run-down. (Eating sugar has that effect on me.)

Remarkably, the timing of all of this worry exactly corresponded to our transition to new sleep arrangements. That Friday that my nephew went into the hospital was the day that I had determined would be the day we’d move Theo into Phoebe’s room. I found myself wanting a baby to snuggle with that night, but all the plans were in place. I’ve mentioned that the transition has gone well, overall. What I hadn’t mentioned was that in spite of no longer having my sleep disrupted by Theo, I haven’t felt particularly more well-rested.

And of course I know that all of my worry pales in comparison to that experienced by my sister, my brother-in-law, and my mother, who have experienced their worry and concern for Diego in a much more immediate and visceral way.

It’s been tough to be so far away from my family with all of this going on. The country feels entirely too large, and I find myself resentful of the distance between the coasts.

Image compiled from public domain images found at wpclipart.

12 thoughts on “removing the elephant

  1. You have an amazingly sturdy brain able to support both an anvil AND elephant. Lure the elephant on out of the room and around the block with a peanut trail.

    I am so relieved to hear little Diego made it out of surgery with flying colors. I look to see him improving with leaps and bounds until he’s leaping and bounding all over the place as happy young boys do.

    Continued positive vibes cruising the air waves to you guys.

  2. I’m so sorry I missed the original post about your nephew. I’m so very glad the removal went well and hope his recovery progresses in the best possible way. Thinking lots of good, healthy thoughts for him…and for all of you who love him.

  3. I’m so relieved to know that both the tumor and the elephant have been removed. I hope Diego can move out of PICU soon! And that you’ll be able to start sleeping better.

  4. I don’t think it’s self-absorbed to talk about how the surgery and illness have affected you. Rather, it shows an empathy and awareness that transcends distance.

    So glad everything went well with the surgery.

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